Tony Northrup: Which Camera Companies Will (Probably) Do Fine — and (Probably) Phase-Out

Hot off the news about Olympus’ sell-off of its Imaging Business, I thought it would be apropos to review someone’s predictions of a few months ago.

Tony Northrup posted this video back on May 30, 2020, and had the guts (some would say, foolhardiness) to actually try to make some educated predictions on which camera companies and systems would fail and which would survive in the next few years. At the 11:38 mark, he gives his take on the survival prospects of the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system, basing his views on the Oylmpus Imaging Division’s financial health and Panasonic’s move to full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Here’s a breakdown of Tony’s predictions. He actually thinks the Nikon Z, even though he places it in the “Probably Fine” category, is facing a tough sell, and that Nikon may eventually decide to convert its F-mount to mirrorless. I believe that depends on what the Nikon Z flagship mirrorless camera is going to look like. If it’s amazing, then we would see a wholesale movement from current Nikon F users to the Z mount.

Probably Fine:
5:44 Sony E
6:08 Canon RF
6:48 Fujifilm X
7:12 Leica M
7:34 Nikon Z

Possible Phase-Out:
8:12 Fujifilm GFX
8:53 L-mount
9:38 Canon EF
9:47 Nikon F

Likely Phase-Out:
10:40 Canon M
11:14 Hasselblad XCD
11:38 MFT
13:02 Pentax K

He got plenty of flak over these predictions. Many people do not like to hear bad news. There is a time to stay silent (and let things work out), and there’s a time to speak up. It is important for photographers to think hard about which system they want to standardize on, especially with a market in turmoil. Time will tell if he’s right on target — or not.